Afrasiyab Killing Naudar, a folio from the Great Mongol Shahnama (Book of Kings)

ca. 1335 C.E.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Kansas City, Missouri, United States

This graphic scene depicts the execution of Naudar, the captive king of Iran, by the Turanian ruler Afrasiyab from the Shahnama, the great Persian epic that tells the stories of the ancient kings and heroes of Iran, both historic and mythical. Perhaps to legitimize themselves as a foreign rulers now in control of Persia, the Mongol court in Iran commissioned several manuscripts of the Shahnama. The folio comes from the Great Il-Khanid (Great Mongol) Shahnama, the largest and grandest of these volumes. The Mongols brought examples of Chinese painting and textiles with them across Asia to their court in Iran, which likely provided inspiration for the silk textiles worn by these figures and the craggy, ink-painted rocks in that form the background of this scene.


  • Title: Afrasiyab Killing Naudar, a folio from the Great Mongol Shahnama (Book of Kings)
  • Date Created: ca. 1335 C.E.
  • Location Created: Iran, probably Tabriz
  • Physical Dimensions: w288.8 x h227.08 in (Image)
  • Type: Manuscript Illumination
  • Rights: Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust
  • Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, gold and silver on paper
  • Place Part Of: probably Tabriz
  • Geographic Origin: Iran, Tabriz.
  • Dynasty: Ilkhanid Period (1256-1353 C.E.)
  • Culture: Persian

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